Stephen and his wife Linda live in Kirkham and for 13 years Stephen managed the Face To Face Homelessness Charity merging it into Fylde Coast YMCA some ten years ago. As Housing Director at the YMCA, Stephen was responsible for developing various community projects including The Credit Union and Fylde Counselling Service.
Reflecting on his former appointments in East London and Newcastle-on-Tyne of working as Methodist Minister, Hospital Chaplain and part time tutor with the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, Stephen is clearly committed to encouraging individuals and communities to be honest about their hopes and needs and finding how faith in God can help them be met in Body, Mind and Spirit.
|Stephen is our Minister but is already known to us and well known on the Fylde Coast having lived and worked in Fylde for 18 years and prior to that he was a Minister in Blackpool.|
I remember when Valentine’s Day was about waiting to see if a girl would send me a Valentine’s card and then if one dropped through the letterbox had she signed it, would my hopes be fulfilled or dashed?
How times have changed. Sending a text with a heart emoji for me is not the same, not the same thought in choosing the right card, no sense of mystery and surprise as handwriting was disguised and emotions hidden.
Today hearts are everywhere, we love everything and everybody, people and places, perfumes and pets, films and foods … the list is endless to the point of being meaningless. The heart is long established in a symbolic sense as the core of emotion, affection and love. It long since broke its link with romantic love and now we have to be adept at interpreting the many different meanings of love in modern conversation.
Showy bouquets of red roses, bottles of champagne and chocolates may be impressive but sometimes less is more if reinforced with doing the shopping, helping get the children ready for bed or doing the ironing.
Cards may have given way to emoji and the emoji dictionary tells me that a heart with an arrow through means the user of this emoji is so madly in love with the person they are sending it to that they would take an arrow through their heart for them.
I believe the source of love is not a heart but God who came to us in Jesus, it is not about words but lifestyles, love is for giving and forgiving. Love is not temporary but long lasting. Love is …. ?
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